With hope in the future, Sr. Jane Iannucelli, President; Sr. Margaret O’Brien, Assistant to the President; and Sisters Mary Ellen McGovern, Sheila Brosnan, Mary Ann Daly, and Kathleen Byrnes, Regional Coordinators; issued the following statement:
Moses told the people of Israel: “You shall not oppress an alien;
you well know how it feels to be an alien, since you were once
aliens yourselves in the land of Egypt” (Ex 23.9).
Jesus asks His disciples to go further and calls us to recognize
Him in the stranger: “Whatsoever you did to the least of my
brothers and sisters, you did to me” (Mt. 25:40).
The gospel, our mission of charity and justice to all—especially to those on the margins—and our responsibilities as citizens of the United States challenge us to respond to the President’s executive order concerning refugees, travel ban from seven nations, and immigrant status. This order opposes the founding values of America, creating a moral issue that affects human dignity and the basic rights on which our nation stands. This order challenges us to be the mystics and prophets of today.
HOW OUGHT WE RESPOND?
Our Prayer —as our prayer comes from a deep contemplative space, it will generate a sense of communion that allows us to welcome the stranger. We might consider saying the Memorare daily as a source and expression of our unity.
Our Presence —200 years ago we came to be present to the orphans of refugees and immigrants. This same spirit calls us today to be present to our new neighbors in this our land.
Our Witness —keeping ourselves informed and speaking truth in word and actions will witness compassion and justice for all.
The challenge is to stay connected as a faith community and to keep informed about the true effects of this order. Those we serve in our sponsored works, especially at the Sisters of Charity Multi-Service Center (Casa de Esperanza) and Life Experience Faith Sharing Associates (LEFSA), as well as those with whom individual Sisters and Associates are engaged, will provide to us information regarding how these communities are affected. Many of us are involved in parishes and are active with a variety of organizations who are also offering assistance.
Our prayers, presence and witness is needed by so many—immigrants and refugees, those here among us already with or without a green card, with or without a student visa —to allay their fears and insecurities.
The Immigration Task Force and those of us working with undocumented families, will keep all up-to-date and make recommendations for action.
Let us be united in responding to this challenge to speak out and to welcome the stranger.